At the end of April, Israel’s right-wing Channel 7 reported that the fans of Israeli Arab soccer team Bnei Sakhnin booed during the moment of silence held at the start of a game for the victims of the flash flood in the Negev. Ten teenagers were killed during a hike organized by a pre-military program. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to upload a Facebook post on the matter “It’s a disgrace,” he wrote. “I expect all public figures, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, to unequivocally denounce this reprehensible behavior.”
The volunteer observers from NIF’s Kick It Out Israel campaign against racism in soccer attended the match between Bnei Sakhnin and Hapoel Ra’anana and reported that the Sakhnin fans behaved with respect during the moment of silence. NIF and many major media organization, including Channel 2, protested to the prime minister and after a delay of several days, the Facebook post was removed without any further comment by the prime minister. NIF and others also pointed out that the fake report typified the type of racism from the right against Israel’s Arab community.
Bnei Sakhnin legal adviser Mohammad Abu Younes said the team may sue Netanyahu for defamation if he does not apologize.
Photo Credit: via flickr